Friday, June 24, 2005

Gaijin Kendo

At 6pm there is no heavy rain so I grapped my bogu asap and run to the bus stop... And then it started pouring again---!!! When it rains the bus is always packed and it goes a lot slower on the highway... So when I arrived it was 7.30pm. Adding to that there is this weird 60's song concert at the stadium... there was a massive toilet queue of middle-aged women at my changing room... Just... why can't they look somewhere else when I change... God!!

So I missed (oops) the warm-ups and half of the suburi. Oh look, a new foreign guy - Meyer from Basel. And there was Stephen (who KO-ed me on the floor last week) from Germany here too. Day for the German-speaking kendo people!

Rather interesting was that the kihon session was leaded by Tanaka-sensei who speaks Nihongo all the way. I can listen and guess OK but probably the other half of the class have to rely on David the interpretor. Earlier this week I finally bought a Fundamental I: Nihongo book and decided to go from ground zero. It's pretty embarassing that I know my kana since 14 but never really study Nihongo serious enough (can't hold a decent conversation). While in kendo verbal instruction is minimal, it is still go to grasp as much as I can. Now I am even more motivated knowing that both Meyer and Stephen can speak Japanese well enough, as they both have been in Japan for a year or 2.

As the title of this entry is "Gaijin Kendo" - I am not really trying to pick on what is the difference between theirs or the locals. But rather I admire more of foreigner's devotion in learning a completely different culture. Of course they didn't really go to Japan for kendo, but I understand that there are more foreigners willing to go on the full package of studying Japan as in a traditional way. Kendo or other cultural activities is one thing, and also language... Unlike teenagers who can only name you J-pop stars, watch their anime or eat their sushi.

I empathize as I also went abroad for my studies..

Now going back to kendo... It was kihon, mawari-keiko and then jikeiko. We occationally have this format (yay! no kata today!!) and it's quite interesting that T-sensei asks the group "Daijoubu?" after 7 rounds of keiko. I had Stephen twice. I am cutting much more solid today and didn't even feel off-balance.

Since getting 6th Dan, Eda-sensei has been joining in the jikeiko session more (previously she was at the beginners end). Grrr I had comments about me cutting small (No every single time, pleeeeease) - and when I did bigger ones... They get too big...! Argh...

Against T-sensei it was just.... uhmm how come fighting this old man is such a stressful thing?!? And his men-uchi always sounds soooooo strong. Argh. "____utsu____janai!!" I think I missed a couple of - I don't know... So I get this "Don't hit if you are not ready" look...

Towards the end we have the oddest uchikomi-keiko I had ever had. It was fun tho. One motodachi in the center and the rest of us just queue for our cut *once* and pass thru.... It went on for about 6 times and we got to see what other people are doing. Still I haven't had Mr. Meyer today (he's like... a few years older than me... so not that old). He's Nidan and I think a good match of level for me. Yosh, next time.


Vivian Yung said...

Ah, God, please shift the rain clouds from HK to Sydney.

Hey, Eda Chen is featured in this issue's Kendo Nippon magazine.

Mingshi said...

Naisu naisu :D

Zettai ni kaimasu yo!!

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with kata?